A 19-year-old from Dinkelsbühl managed to hack 25 Teslas in 13 countries. The start-up founder gained access to the vehicles remotely and was able to turn up the music, open windows and bypass the security system with his Tesla hack, among other things.
While other teenagers play video games, sit at school or meet up with friends, David Colombo in Dinkelsbühl, Bavaria, is busy developing software, starting a company – and hacking Teslas.
As the 19-year-old posted on Twitter a few days ago, he has gained access to a total of 25 Teslas in 13 countries through a hack.
Tesla Hack: Turn Up Music and Start Car
His Tesla hack gave David Colombo access to windows, music, lights and the Sentry Mode security system, among other things. He also allegedly had the option of remotely starting the cars without a key.
Even if his hack did not give him complete control over the vehicles – Colombo could never have “taken the wheel out of the hands” of the drivers – he could have done a lot of damage with his access.
For example, Colombo was able to see if the Tesla owners were on the car. With bad intentions, he could have simply started the car in his absence. Even while driving, he would have had the opportunity to turn up the sound fully, open and close the windows or honk, as he explained on Twitter.
Colombo emphasized that the safety flaw that had allowed him access to the Teslas was not tesla’s fault. Rather, it was a gap in the software of a third-party provider.
Tweet attracts attention for young founders
Colombo claimed that he had tried to make the owners aware of the problem, but could not reach them. That’s why he published his hack on Twitter. The tweet brought him a lot of attention. Currently, the tweet has around 1,700 likes and 1,250 re-tweets.
In the end, he may not only have reached the affected Tesla drivers, but also made his company more famous.
Because David Colombo is the founder of an IT security company called Colombo Technology. The name and skills of the young founder are likely to be on everyone’s lips worldwide.
Tesla informed of the hack
To prove that the Tesla hack was not a pure invention, Colombo sent screenshots to Bloomberg to prove his attack. Among them was a conversation with one of the Tesla owners, who had allowed Colombo to operate his horn remotely.
Colombo said he did not want to publish the details of his hack until the relevant software company had closed the vulnerability.
The problem therefore lies in the way the software stores sensitive user data. This information is easy to hack, which allows criminals relatively easy access to various Tesla features in the vehicles, Colombo says.
He was also in contact with Tesla and reported the vulnerability there. Tesla, in turn, has not commented on the hack.
Tesla hacker has been programming since he was 10
David Colombo, on the other hand, is obviously not a hacker with evil intentions. Rather, programming is his passion. The teenager revealed to Bloomberg that he wrote his first programs at the age of ten.
He is also a “Tesla fan,” Colombo said. Nevertheless, he also warned of the risks that the Internet of Things could bring.
“Just don’t connect critical things to the internet,” he said. “It’s very simple. And if necessary, make sure it’s set up safely.”